The countries will have to work together on the political level, as well as business and entrepreneurial level
Regulatory issues regarding new technologies, open Internet and collaboration and data sharing among nations have been at the forefront of several discussions lately. The Indian government is working on the pertaining issues like many other countries, especially after the rapid digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic. Rather than leaving it to the market forces, democratic governments need to play an active role in shaping the future of technology, open and safe Internet, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State (MoS), Electronics and IT, said at the Annual Summit of USISP Forum. “The future of technology should not be left to some sort of dynamic that is driven only by entrepreneurs, investors. It has to be driven in a very proactive manner by the four democracies of the Quad including India, US, Australia, Japan and any other country that thinks along the same lines to have open communities,” Chandrasekhar said while addressing a virtual event organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Thursday.
According to Chandrasekhar, there is a need for political understanding among these four-five countries for the future of technology. Countries such as India and the US will have to work together on the political level, as well as business and entrepreneurial level, he added. He emphasised on the emerging needs for dialogues on data protection, cross-border data flow, adding that such conversations must start formally. Without proper bilateral or global conversations, there are chances of having very differential rules and regulations across countries that can put one set of consumers at a disadvantage.
In the session moderated by Neal Mohan, chief product officer, YouTube, Chandrasekhar also spoke on the opportunities created by technology. Despite the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on the Indian economy, it has bounced back with resilience and the investment in digital India has contributed to the recovery significantly.
“One of the sectors of the economy that is doing well is the tech segment. Apart from the short-term setbacks in the first two quarters of the pandemic, the tech space has taken off. And for a lot of people that has been a reset of ambitions. They look at the post-Covid world as a place full of opportunities,” he said.
Asked about the avenues opened up by digital platforms and tech companies for the creative economy, he said digital technology has completely upturned the conventional creative models and industries in India, he noted. The stronger internet connectivity, increasing Internet penetration, and inexpensive devices have created a new wave of innovation. “I have never seen in my life this kind of creative explosion,” he noted.
“There is a significant behavioural change among citizens and the government is catching up gradually. We are really reinventing our model, whether it’s skilling or creativity or producing content. This is the fact that the disruption is deep and permanent. And I think this is the new normal that technology is creating new heroes every day, whether they’re unicorns in the tech space or they are content creators,” he concluded.